“David Crosby: Remember My Name” is a reference to the Crosby of “Crosby, Stills and Nash” fame, and later refers to “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young”. No, that’s not a high-powered law firm. It is a seminal acoustic/rock and roll band back from the early 1970’s. Kids, you might need to ask your parents or grandparents about this. They were all part of the L.A. music scene, and hung out in Laurel Canyon area. Read more
The movie starts by introducing us to a singer who has a song for us called, ‘The Hearse Song.’ His version of it, that is. Once it’s heard you won’t be able to unhear it for the rest of the day. Some of the unforgettable lyrics are, ‘Did you ever think as a hearse goes by, that you may be the next to die? And your eyes fall out, and your teeth decay… and that is the end of a perfect day.’
I’ll jump right in with letting you know that I thought I was going to write a review that spoke more or less of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s talent. However, as the words went from fingertips to keyboard, I found that they weren’t so friendly toward the artist. Let me say that outside of the film being slow at times, you’ll be enthralled with this documentary but won’t be so crazy about its subject by films end. This should be titled, ‘Anything but Words of Love.’ Read more
“Maiden” is a documentary of the yacht racing event that happened 30 years ago — an event that rocked the previously ‘boys only club’ of yachting. Read more
We open on a scene in 1983 of the real in John DeLorean being given a polygraph test. After being asked if he had ever cheated anyone or on a business deal or ever been dishonest and immoral, he comments that being asked general questions like those makes his mind go through every bad thing he has ever done in his life… Read more
With the film ‘5B,’ directors Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss, along with the caregivers of Ward 5B, relay the stories of the first patients in the ward. Those admitted to 5B were stricken with the AIDS virus. Read more
In this film, Jakob Dylan is on the pursuit to flesh out the initial roots of the California music scene of the 1960’s He finds that Laurel Canyon holds many secrets but a wellspring of information on the era he needs is in speaking to the artists themselves. Read more
Movie Screening Summary
5B is the inspirational story of everyday heroes who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first AIDS ward unit in the United States. Read more
The documentary opens on a farm facing great devastation and the looming question, ‘How did we get here?’ Do the farmers then ask if attempting to farm in harmony with nature is an impossible dream? We cut back to 2010 and meet the farmers, Molly and John. They were the perfect, happy, couple living in Santa Monica and working in their chosen professions. Read more
If you like supporting causes that help nature, seeing this movie does just that for you! Without having to go through the trouble of finding a worthwhile cause, simply buying a ticket to ‘Penguins’ lets you see an entertaining film and make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere at the same time. To do this, see ‘Penguins’ in theaters today through April 23. During that time, for every ticket sold, Disney Nature is making a donation to them to support Global Penguin Society’s work to protect these penguins. Outside of being an outstanding nature film, I can’t think of a better reason to see this than that. Take as many people with you as you can and spread the word so your friends and family can help, too. Now I’ll tell you some about the movie.
‘Penguins’ starts out by introducing us to ‘Steve’ who’s an adorable Adélie penguin. This breed is found along the entire coast of the Antarctic. When they become adults, they make a one-hundred-mile trek every year to mate with the females. Steve is an adult, albeit a somewhat naïve one, who we get to see meet and mate, purportedly, for the first time. The camera follows Steve, and Steve ‘stunt doubles,’ as producer Roy Conli told us, to keep the film moving along to complete the journey of the life of a male penguin. Before he gets to where everyone else is, he accidentally ends up in Emperor penguin territory, where he’s not at all welcome. When the poor little guy finally gets to the correct colony, he starts building a rock nest, hoping to attract a young lady with his skills. It takes him longer than he has expected because his neighbor keeps stealing his rocks when he’s off getting more! Ed Helms narration here is particularly invaluable because his voice impeccably captures the frustration Steve must be feeling. You’re definitely feeling it for him. When this occurred, there were several disapproving grumbles from the audience. This happens to everyone several times as your attachment to Steve and your concern for his welfare grows. You just want to see him triumph over all the horrid obstacles this cute little guy encounters.
Steve finally gets his nest made and next, he starts to do what instinct tells him to do… which is to sing! The filmmaker inserts REO Speedwagon’s ‘I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore’ into the soundtrack of this moment of Steve’s life. Speaking of, the songs that were chosen for the entire soundtrack, fit perfectly with his entire expedition. After Steve gets his groove on, which is how Penguins meet their beloved, he finds the one to have a family with. It takes him a while, but he manages to draw the attention of one young lady they’ve named Adeline. This is just your typical Hollywood story of romance. You didn’t think he’d be left hangin’, did you? By the way, once they sing and dance together, they will forever be able to use their song to find one another amongst all the rest. You have to admit, that’s astonishing considered how many penguins there are in the world. So, after they get their home life sorted out, and she’s performing the egg hatching thing, he goes for some much-needed R&R. In fact, the males take a long hike to swim and get some food to bring back for the hatchlings. Roy Conli explains that after all of his hard work, it was as if Steve was on ‘Summer Break… only colder.’ Usually, summer break doesn’t include the threat of killer whales, but they appear here… looking for snacks. Even though Conli said, ‘When in the water, they’re incredibly beautiful.’ I wanted to scream at the screen for Steve and the others to ‘Hurry! Get out of the pool!’ There were some beautiful underwater shots of Steve swimming around alone, not paying a bit of attention to the dangerous creatures around him, but they made me nervous. And hungry whales aren’t the only threats these little penguins have to worry about. They also face the bitter cold of 150 miles an hour winds, bitter cold and awful, barbaric Leopard Seals, that can eat approximately 100 baby penguins a day. Baby-snatching birds of prey are problems, too. Some of these scenes may be a touch to watch but only for little ones… if they understand what’s going on. The film is fairly sensitive to everyone while still getting their point across. Long treks parents have to take for food, away from their family, could be the biggest issue because, with only one left there to protect the babies from the elements, it’s difficult sometimes to survive.
Watching this film makes you realize that with what nature has in store for them, it’s amazing we have any penguins at all. At the end of the film, we’re left with Steve waddling again, this time to the song, ‘Here I Go Again’ by Whitesnake, in what looks similar to the opening scene. If all goes to plan and they survive to next mating season, Steve and Adeline will see each other again.
‘Penguins’ is the first Disneynature film to be released in IMAX®. See this on the big screen if you can. It’s worth every minute and every penny. Also, stay to watch a making of during the credits.